Pope Benedict XVI has surprised observers by announcing plans to create six new cardinals at a small consistory on 24 November in a move apparently aimed at beginning to redressing the geographical imbalance in the College of Cardinals.
The two Asian designees are Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Thotttunkal, 53, Major Archbishop of India's Siro-Malankar Church, and Filipino Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, 55, head of the Archdiocese of Manila since 2011.
The new African cardinal-designate is the Nigerian Archbishop of Abuja John Onaiyekan, 68. Getting the red hat from Colombia is Archbishop Rubén Salazar Gomes of Bogotá, 70. The new cardinal-designate from the Middle East is His Beatitude Béchara Boutros Raï, the 72-year-old Maronite Patriarch in Lebanon.
American Archbishop James Harvey, 63, Archpriest of the Basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls, will also be made a cardinal. He has been prefect of the Pontifical Household since 1998.